New pool, ready to add salt cell

JoeyBagODonuts

Gold Supporter
Sep 29, 2020
18
Central Texas
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Startup was 30 days ago. Chemistry has been good using weekly shock and muriatic acid. I think we're ready to add salt and install the salt cell. The salt cell is currently wired to our Pentair IC40 SCG control panel. Is it just a matter of putting the system in maintenance mode and swapping the dummy cell with the salt cell? I plan to add about 350 lbs of salt initially then add a bit more as needed. Pool is 17,500 gallons.

Also, does the flow direction look correct in the photo below?

Thanks!

IMG_1157.jpgIMG_1158.jpg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,869
Bedford, TX
Joey,

The direction of flow is correct..

350 lbs. of salt will get you to about 2300 ppm, assuming you have zero now...

You will need to be 2800 to turn off the low salt warning...

If you don't have a salt test kit, I suggest that you get one... I suggest the Taylor K-1766... I never trust what the cell says..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JoeyBagODonuts

Gold Supporter
Sep 29, 2020
18
Central Texas
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks, Jim, much appreciated.

I plan to buy 440 or maybe 480 lbs of salt, and test after 360 lbs, then 400 lbs, etc.. I'm guessing salt dissolves really fast. If test results look good can we swim soon after putting the initial salt in? Or should we wait awhile? Does the salt cell need to be configured in any way?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
22,869
Bedford, TX
Joey,

You need to let the salt dissolve and mix for 24 hours before initially turning on the cell.. Until the water and salt are well mixed, you can get some very high salt levels in spots...

You will need to tell your automation that you have a salt cell.. In the EasyTouch you just check a box that that says "IntelliChlor".. I assume it is similar with the IntelliCenter..

Salt cells are not magic.. You have to adjust them to generate the amount of chlorine your pool will use each day.. You adjust the amount of chlorine they make by adjusting the % of output of the cell or the amount of time the pump runs... Or a combination of both.. At first you will need to test almost every day, just to see how things look.. Pretty soon you will get a feel how your pool works and you can cut back to once a week testing.

You should have a screen similar to the one below that allows you to adjust the chlorine output..




Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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JoeyBagODonuts

Gold Supporter
Sep 29, 2020
18
Central Texas
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Can we swim during the first 24 hours while salt is dissolving?

Thanks for the information and screenshot. Here's what mine looks like, same information.

Chlorinator.jpg
 

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Last edited:

JoeyBagODonuts

Gold Supporter
Sep 29, 2020
18
Central Texas
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
When we first turned on the salt cell, at 35%, free chlorine was always low, e.g. < .6. We bumped it up to 50% and also Superchlorinated a couple of times (Friday night, Saturday) when we had friends over. Free chlorine was in range a couple of weeks ago and I turned down the salt cell to 45%. A few days ago, after a couple of good rains, TA was 170, PH 8.0 and FC was 6.4. I added about 64oz of liquid muriatic acid. Today, TA 120, Ph 7.6, CYA 40 and FC is 11.2. I just turned the salt cell down to 35%.

It seems, not sure, that the salt cell took a few weeks to find it's rhythm. Maybe the rain and slightly cooler weather is contributing. High today is 93, it was closer to 100 the three weeks prior.

I haven't added salt since maybe 8/20. Most salt was added 8/14, I added another bag on 8/20 to get to 3600ppm.

Do you adjust the salt cell when weather changes or keep it fairly steady? When does FC get too high?
 
Last edited:

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,931
NY
Do you adjust the salt cell when weather changes or keep it fairly steady? When does FC get too high
Your frequent testing will show the cell overproducing little by little this time of year.

7
7
7
7
7
7.5
7.5
7.5
8. *adjust runtime or % down a skootch.

you’ll probably get a month or so on each cycle. In the spring it’s the exact opposite as production won’t keep up with increasing UV / FC demand. So you’ll be on the lookout to adjust up when necessary, also roughly a month each time. Keep us posted as you dial it in.
 
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JoeyBagODonuts

Gold Supporter
Sep 29, 2020
18
Central Texas
Pool Size
17500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
We had a nice break in the heat recently, highs close to 90 instead of 100. My IC40 SWCG indicates low salt. I just tested using the Taylor K-1766 and got 2600 ppm. From previous trips to Leslie's it was closer to 3600 six weeks ago. Reading other posts on TFP, it seems salt readings can drop with temperature decreases, and salt doesn't go away unless there's a leak or significant splashing out of the pool. Does the SWCG consume salt when it makes chlorine? I naively thought it does and for this reason salt should be added periodically. My CYA is also closer to 30 now, previously around 40. TA 130, PH 8.0, FC 5.0. I just added 64oz of muriatic acid to reduce PH and TA. Wondering if I should raise CYA, and what is a way to do this. I've read different recommendations on CYA levels. The SWCG is set at 30% now.
 
Last edited:

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,931
NY
How had the rain been lately ? Usually it’s unnoticeable day to day, even with a big storm, but over months it adds up. I needed a boost mid season each year and then I was good for the rest of the season. But it will work fine until it doesn’t. Then you’re low.

The salt does not get used up. It actually gets converted and then converted back to salt when the FC burns off.

I personally don’t like the splash out discussion as IMHO it puts way too much emphasis on an insignificant amount of salt / CYA loss. It’s entirely true that both get lowered but you could have a cannonball contest for a week and barely dent the #s.
 

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